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Multiple Iowa Homes Struck by Lightning in Past Week

11 May 2017, 5:19 pm

There has been a lot of severe weather across the country within the past week. Some of these storms have produced very large hail, damaging wind gusts and even a few tornadoes. However, in Iowa, two homes have been struck by lightning with a few days.

Credit: Brandon Libby

On Monday night, a home in Clear Lake, Iowa, located in northern Iowa, was struck by lightning. Neighbors who live across the street said their electricity flickered off and on before they saw the ball of fire through the glass in the front door. The Clear Lake fire department was dispatched to the fire just shortly before 10 p.m. indications were that lightning struck a tree and started a fire in the attic of the house. No one was home at the time of the fire. The damage to the home is estimated at $100,000.

 

Then about 48 hours later, further to the south in West Des Moines, Iowa, a home was struck by lightning Wednesday morning. The lightning strike created a massive hole in the side of the home. Fire crews reported some smoke inside the home, but little actual fire damage. Fire officials said a homeowner was at home at the time, but was not injured.

What are some steps to prevent your home from attracting lightning? Most homes that are damaged by lightning aren’t directly hit. Damage can happen if your electrical wiring isn’t grounded properly.

Experts say lightning can strike near a power line connected to your home and produce enough heat to fry your electrical devices or worse — cause your home to catch fire. Tall objects, like trees and multi-story homes and buildings, are commonly susceptible to lightning strikes. Proper grounding can keep your home from becoming the next target for damage.

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